Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, the Creator and the Sustainer. There is no deity worthy of worship except He. And may Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, His Companions, His Family and followers all.
The issue of sex has occupied a prominent position in the human thinking and activity. There is so much preoccupation with sex, which has led to remarkable studies and research dealing with the nature of sexual behavior, its arousal, its use and abuse. Sex, as a human activity, has led to deviant behavior and abuse of its pure human need by the sex industry all over the world.
Sex, as a need and behavior, has been fully dealt with in Islam. Islam is a comprehensive system of life that takes into account the spiritual, the social, the physical and all human needs. Furthermore, Islam has recognized these needs, organized them and has described proper ways of their fulfillment. One of these needs is the sexual. Islam viewed the sexual act as sacred, private and a source of human reproduction. Therefore, it is recognized within the family context only.
Throughout the Islamic history, Muslim scholars and writers have tackled the issue of "sex in Islam". Within the same line of thinking comes this contribution by Br. Abdul Rahman Al-Sheha. In this book, the author provided the Islamic perspective on sex, purity and chastity. Furthermore, the author tackled the issue of "sexual stimulants" especially those beyond the sacred bond between the husband and wife. Therefore, Al-Sheha stated:" Islam bans all actions that lead to arouse the sex other than the permissible. Islam, out of precaution, bans all activities that lead to unlawful practices". The Glorious Quran says:“
Say to the believing men
That they should lower
Their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make
For greater purity for them:
And God is well acquainted
With all that they do
And say to believing women
That they should lower
Their gaze and guard
Their modesty; that they
Should not display their
Beauty and ornaments except
What (must ordinarily) appear
Thereof; that they should
Draw their veils over
Their bosoms and not display
Their beauty … ” (24:31-32)
In order to prevent social ills, Islam has promoted the marriage institution. Islam permits Muslims to satisfy their sexual needs only through lawful marriage. i.e., the relationship between the husband and the wife in the traditional structure of the family. Accordingly, Islam emphasized the importance of building the family on solid foundations. A primary step in this process is the selection of the wife and the selection of the husband. A second step is a lawful meeting of a prospective bride, a marriage contract and the establishment of a happy family guided by the divine revelation.
Brother Al-Sheha has also tackled other issues that assure the continuity of the family structure. Some of these steps deal with the issues of sexual fulfillment, happiness, harmony and family peace. Furthermore, he spelled out the rights of spouses upon each other. Finally, he addressed the issue of divorce in Islam, which is considered as the most "hated" lawful act in Islam. He explained its meaning and conditions.
This book is very informative, well researched and scholarly written. I ask Allah-Glory Be to Him- to reward the author for his work. I think that this book is of great benefit for Muslims and non-Muslims in their quest to live by the divine teachings that promote chastity, modesty and happiness.
Ahmad Ibn Saifuddin Turkistani, Ph.D.
Director of the Institute of Islamic and Arabic sciences in America.
25th of Rabl' al-Awwal, 1423 H.
7th of June, 2002.